Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



PLoS ONE 6(7): e21730


Copyright 2011 Cui et al.

Open access



Background: MicroRNAs have been widely-studied with regard to their aberrant expression and high correlation with tumorigenesis and progression in various solid tumors. With the major goal of assessing gonadotropin (luteinizing hormone, LH) contributions to LH receptor (LHR)-positive ovarian cancer cells, we have conducted a genome-wide transcriptomic analysis on human epithelial ovarian cancer cells to identify the microRNA-associated cellular response to LHmediated activation of LHR.

Methods: Human ovarian cancer cells (SKOV3) were chosen as negative control (LHR2) and stably transfected to express functional LHR (LHR+), followed by incubation with LH (0–20 h). At different times of LH-mediated activation of LHR the cancer cells were analyzed by a high-density Ovarian Cancer Disease-Specific-Array (DSA, ALMACTM), which profiled ~100,000 transcripts with ~400 non-coding microRNAs.

Findings: In total, 65 microRNAs were identified to exhibit differential expression in either LHR expressing SKOV3 cells or LHtreated cells, a few of which have been found in the genomic fragile regions that are associated with abnormal deletion or amplification in cancer, such as miR-21, miR-101-1, miR-210 and miR-301a. By incorporating the dramatic expression changes observed in mRNAs, strong microRNA/mRNA regulatory pairs were predicted through statistical analyses coupled with collective computational prediction. The role of each microRNA was then determined through a functional analysis based on the highly-confident microRNA/mRNA pairs.

Conclusion: The overall impact on the transcriptome-level expression indicates that LH may regulate apoptosis and cell growth of LHR+ SKOV3 cells, particularly by reducing cancer cell proliferation, with some microRNAs involved in regulatory roles.